British Airways (BA)’s frequent flyer programme is called the Executive Club. The British Airways Executive Club has four different tiers. Starting with Blue, and up the ranks from Bronze, Silver, and Gold.
As you’d expect, you get more benefits as you progress up the tiers. Getting there will depend on how frequently you fly on BA or their partners airlines (oneworld alliance). To gain elite status, you’ll have to earn a minimum amount of Tier points and fly a number of Eligible flights. These are different from the reward currency the airline uses, which are known as Avios. So what are the differences between Tier Points, Avios and Eligible flights?
What are Tier points, Avios and eligible flights?
Tier points determine which elite status level you have and are used by BA instead of qualifying miles or segments. There is only one way to earn Tier points, and that’s by flying on BA or on oneworld partner airlines. You’ll earn more tier points the further you fly and in higher cabins.
Avios are the reward currency for British Airways Executive Club (it’s like miles and points on other airlines). When you’ve earnt enough Avios, you can claim rewards such as flights, upgrades, hotel stays, car hire, among other rewards. Finding a reward flight can be a work of art, so we’ve shared our tips to help you book an Avios reward flight.
Unlike Tier points, you can earn Avios in lots of different ways. These can be by flying, taking a holiday, staying in hotels, renting cars, spending money. Boosting your Avios can quickly earn you those reward points for those First Class flights.
To gain elite status on the BA programme, you must fly a certain number of “Eligible flights” with the airline. For the flight to be eligible, it must be marketed or operated by BA (i.e. it must have a BA flight number on your flight itinerary). You need to complete a certain number of flights to qualify for status. Reward flights and discounted booking are not eligible.
What you need to reach elite status?
Blue – Getting Blue status is immediate once you join. Membership is free.
Bronze – 300 Tier points and 2 eligible flights.
Silver – 600 Tier points and 4 eligible flights
Gold – 1500 Tier points and 4 eligible flights
Calculating the number of Tier points for your flights can be done through the BA flight calculator. A flight from London to New York, the maximum number of Tier points you can earn on BA is 210 points.
So a return First Class journey from London to New York will qualify you for Bronze, as you’ll have a total of 420 Tier points and meet the 2 eligible flights required.
The Tier points collection resets every year, so do keep an eye on when your year “resets” as this is dependent on when you joined the programme not by the calendar year.
The number of benefits you get as a member increases as you move up the different tiers. Read our blog on the benefits of each tier.
We have also outlined whether British Airways Executive Club Gold or Silver status is worth it in a separate blog, and concluded that it’s worth achieving if you’re a frequent traveller on BA or the oneworld carrier.
The benefits of having status on BA’s frequent flyer programme extends to oneworld partner airlines.
Bronze = Ruby
Silver = Sapphire
Gold = Emerald
There are 13 airlines within the oneworld alliance, and you can earn Avios and Tier points on any partner airlines. The benefits are reciprocated on other oneworld partners including priority boarding and access to airport lounges (Silver and above).
BG1 tips on maximising your tier points
Add a transit stop-over with partner airlines: If you’re flying long-haul, consider using partner airlines to include a stop-over. A direct flight from London to Bangkok on BA will earn you 280 tier points in Business Class.
While including a stop-over via Doha on Qatar Airways in Business Class will earn you a whopping 560 tier points for the return journey. That’s nearly enough tier points to gain Silver status.
Consider the minimum long-haul flight: You get more Tier points by flying on long-haul flights and a 4-5 hour flight is considered as long-haul. For example, a flight from Helsinki to Malaga (4 hours 45 minutes) on Finnair will earn you 280 tier points in Business Class return.
Look out for oneworld partner flight offer and deals: Look for flight offers and deals from BA and partner airlines on premium cabins. As flying on higher cabins will earn you more tier points. There are usually great ex-EU offers on Qatar Airways from £1,200 on offer.